Most people worry that hospital errors will occur during their stay. However, many do not realize that patients also have a good chance of being forced to return to the hospital within 30 days of discharge due to complications or problems related to the patient’s stay. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine states that about 20 percent of Medicare patients return to the hospital within a month of their discharges due to medication errors, lingering infections, and misunderstandings about continuing care.
Being readmitted for people can be quite expensive, depending on their health care coverage. Patients themselves often have to pay $1,000 out of a total bill of an average of nearly $15,000, but people whose plans have higher deductibles often end up owing more than that.
Patients who are readmitted will stay for 13 percent more time than patients newly diagnosed with the same condition. About 17 percent of Medicare’s payments are for readmissions. This can cost patients in terms of expensive deductibles and high co-payments, some of which run 20 to 30 percent of the total cost.
A medical malpractice attorney can represent victims who have suffered injuries due to hospital errors and other mistakes by healthcare professionals. Malpractice may include everything from a nurse giving a patient the wrong medication or a doctor who performs unnecessary surgery. Patients who are injured by the negligence of hospital staff may be entitled to damages. A medical malpractice lawyer can explain a patient’s rights and help him or her make a good decision about how to handle the medical injury.
Sources: Money Magazine, “Check out of the hospital and stay out,” Amanda Gengler, Nov. 5, 2012